April is Rosacea Awareness Month
Rosacea is a skin condition causing reddened skin, usually occurring on your cheeks and nose. It particularly affects those with fair skin, and it becomes more common with age. The redness can spread to your forehead, back, chest, ears, and even eyelids in severe cases or if triggered.
In surveys by the National Rosacea Society (NRS), nearly 90 percent of rosacea patients said this condition had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41 percent reported it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements. Among those with severe rosacea, nearly 88 percent said the disorder had adversely affected their professional interactions, and nearly 51 percent said they had even missed work because of their condition. The good news is that well over 70 percent reported medical treatment had improved their emotional and social well-being.
Rosacea is an inflammatory disease that results in excessive redness as the primary characteristic. Other symptoms of rosacea can include flushing in the cheeks, pimples or bumps resembling acne, visible blood vessels, moderate to extreme sensitivity, and scaly skin. All of these characteristics are driven by chronic inflammation and a damaged skin barrier. There are several known factors that can cause Rosacea flare ups:
While avoiding triggers is a good starting point, unfortunately, it is not always easy or possible.
Luckily, there are many ways to treat rosacea naturally!
A holistic approach is important to helping manage rosacea. An anti-inflammatory diet consisting of highly colorful fruits and vegetables is key to help address the symptoms of rosacea. Oral supplements such as spearmint tea, zinc picolinate or zinc glycinate, and niacinamide might also be helpful. In open clinical trials, promising therapeutic activity has been shown with dark chocolate containing greater than 60% cacao and white tea as well. Caffeine consumption should be kept below 75 mg per day. Reducing stress with mild to moderate physical exercise and relaxation exercises can help, however, strenuous exercise can often make rosacea symptoms worse.
At Home Treatment
Always speak to your health care provider before starting in home remedies to avoid potential side effects and worsening symptoms of rosacea. Typically, rosacea is usually a benign skin condition, however, skin changes may indicate a more serious underlying issue that requires a medical approach to treatment. If your provider discovers your rosacea is not related to a medical condition here are many at home and in office remedies for you to consider:
Aloe vera: Gel from the inner leaf of the aloe vera plant is emollient and moisturizing. It can be effective as a topical remedy for rosacea. Many moisturizers contain aloe. You can use these and follow package directions. Or harvest a leaf from a live aloe plant and apply inner gel directly to your skin. It is possible to be sensitive or allergic to aloe vera, so do a patch test before you apply it to larger areas.
Burdock: Burdock is available as a supplement, extract, or food. As an edible remedy, burdock root can purify your liver and clear up skin conditions such as acne. Burdock plant extract can be a great treatment for rosacea.
Chamomile: Like aloe, chamomile is common in moisturizing skin products. It is often used topically in herbal treatment for inflamed skin. Data from studies support it as a successful remedy. Purchase a moisturizing product containing natural chamomile and use it by following label directions. Chamomile essential oil is diluted with a carrier oil and applied, too. You can also make chamomile tea, wait for it to cool, and apply as a skin wash or compress.
Coconut Oil: Moisturizers like coconut oil are popular for all sorts of inflammatory skin conditions, including rosacea. There are not recent studies showing coconut oil to be effective for rosacea. Still, it could help as a known anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and moisturizer. Apply a small amount of high-quality coconut oil to your skin. You can also use it as a carrier oil for appropriate essential oils if desired.
Comfrey: Comfrey is a plant that produces a compound called allantoin. This compound has drawn attention for alleviating skin reactions and the appearance of redness. Find products such as creams, lotions, or salves that contain natural comfrey or allantoin and follow label directions.
Feverfew: Feverfew is another plant frequently named as a natural rosacea remedy. Feverfew has antioxidant qualities. It is also known to protect against UV exposure, like a mild sunscreen. UV exposure is sometimes known to worsen rosacea. Be sure to use topical feverfew products that are parthenolide-free. Parthenolides may increase skin sensitivity.
Green tea: Green Tea is very rich in antioxidants and is available as a tea and herbal supplement. Research shows it can be effective in the treatment of rosacea. Antioxidants are helpful for inflammation, including skin conditions. As such, green tea may be a popular ingredient in skin products and creams for rosacea. Applying topical products with green tea is the best method for treating rosacea. Cooled green tea can be used as a compress and you can drink the tea for numerous health benefits, too.
Lavender essential oil: Different essential oils may be used topically to improve rosacea. Of all these, lavender is the most studies and easiest to obtain. Dilute lavender essential oil in a carrier oil and apply to your skin. Or mix some drops in your favorite moisturizer. Use about five drops per ounce of product.
Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a B vitamin found in foods. It is not to be confused with niacin or B3. It is extracted into creams and lotions for topical skin conditions. Niacinamide is good for preventing and relieving skin flushing, which happens with rosacea. Purchase creams containing niacinamide from reliable companies and follow label directions.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a long-time home remedy for rosacea. It is known for strengthening the skin and reduce water loss, which can worsen the condition. Oatmeal may also help itching. Some skin products, like face masks, include oatmeal as an ingredient — these are great options. You can also mix a couple of tablespoons of oatmeal with water and apply directly to your skin.
Raw honey: Some types of honey, especially raw honey, may be effective and easy relievers for rosacea. This may be because honey helps skin retain moisture and dryness worsens rosacea. A type of honey called kanuka honey is known to be amazingly effective against rosacea. Purchase a high quality, raw honey. Kanuka or manuka honey should be applied in a small amount directly to the skin.
Tea tree essential oil: Tea tree oil is useful for all sorts of skin conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help itching. There are not many studies on tea tree oil for rosacea specifically. Still, its evidence for helping similar skin conditions makes it a great contender. It is best to dilute tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil and apply directly to your skin.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a famous herbal anti-inflammatory. It may be useful for alleviating painful and inflamed rosacea symptoms. You can also eat the herb or use it in cooking for its health benefits. Try applying turmeric essential oil diluted in a carrier oil. There are a variety of creams and lotions contain turmeric. You can also mix turmeric powder with water and apply it to your skin as a poultice.
Evening Primrose Oil: Evening primrose oil is a natural treatment for rosacea. Source of antioxidants, extremely hydrating, endowed with anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant properties, evening primrose oil is also vasodilator and anticoagulant. It, therefore, takes its place in the fight against rosacea by reducing local inflammation. You can make topical applications morning and night. You can also use the evening primrose oil capsules internally at a rate of 500mg per day (2 to 3 capsules) preferably during meals for a course of up to three months.
Zinc: The anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant properties of zinc are very favorable in the treatment of rosacea. Some studies have shown that supplementing with zinc at a rate of 20 mg per day for three months reduced symptoms of rosacea. It is recommended that chelated zinc is better for absorption. However, discuss this with your provider to see you need this formulation.
Probiotics: Intestinal balance is certainly one of the keys to treating rosacea. Restoring your optimal gut flora should also be part of your arsenal, as researchers in 2015 uncovered a clear link between gut bacteria and symptoms of rosacea. It is obvious that a dysfunction results in the release of toxins due to a permeable intestinal wall, toxins that generate multiple inflammations, including the skin level. Choose a probiotic containing a combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains for better efficacy.
In Office Treatment
It's also important to know that there are multiple types of rosacea, so there is not a one-size fits all regimen. Regimens will vary depending on what type of rosacea you are experiencing, and a gentle treatment plan is the best approach.
We offer in office medical and aesthetic services at The Skin Center that aide in combating rosacea and address skin health in general:
Nordlys Laser by Candela treats Rosacea by treating the dilated vessels. See results below.
Microdermabrasion with Diamond Glow, which helps to gently remove the top layer of the skin known as the stratum corneum, can help treat redness. Regular, repetitive treatment may be necessary to maintain improved skin conditions. Diamond Glow is currently on special at The Skin Center - Check it out >>
Skin care products regimen such as Epionce that address the different types of Rosacea.
Nutrition advice to decrease inflammation and flare ups is also available.
Give us a call at 980-207-0575 to schedule a consultation to determine the best treatment for your condition.
Tammy Ryan MSN, FNP-C
The Skin Center at Benton Integrative Medicine
Sharon Office Park
421 South Sharon Amity, Suite B
Charlotte, NC 28211